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ERIC Number: EJ1112290
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-2004
Learning to Write: Plowing and Hoeing, Labor and Essaying
Fulford, Amanda
Educational Theory, v66 n4 p519-534 Aug 2016
In this paper Amanda Fulford addresses the issue of student writing in the university, and explores how the increasing dominance of outcome-driven modes of learning and assessment is changing the understanding of what it is to write, what is expected of students in their writing, and how academic writing should best be supported. The starting point is the increasing use of what are termed "technologies" of writing--"handbooks" for students that address issues of academic writing--that systematize, and smooth the work of writing in, Fulford argues, an unhelpful way. This leads to a reconsideration of what it means to write in the university, and what it is to be a student who writes. Fulford explores etymologically the concept of "writing" and suggests that it might be seen metaphorically as physical labor. Writing as physical labor is explored further through the agricultural metaphors in Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" and through Stanley Cavell's reading of that text. In making a distinction between writing-as-plowing and writing-as-hoeing, Fulford argues that some technologies of writing deny voice rather than facilitate it, and she concludes by offering a number of suggestions for the teaching and learning of writing in the university that emphasize the value of being lost (in one's subject and one's work) and finding one's own way out. These "lessons" are illustrated with reference to Thoreau's text "Walden" and to American literature and film.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A